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American Express to Launch 'Game-Changing' CSR Initiative

March 07, 2010

Later this evening, during the Oscar's broadcast, American Express will become the latest Fortune 500 company (JP Morgan Chase, Target, Pepsi) to launch a social media-enabled CSR campaign. The Members Project, as the initiative is called, pairs the resources of Amex with the research and advocacy tools created by TakePart, an online community that "connects its members directly to the issues that inspire them to engage, contribute and take action."

According to the press materials I received, the initiative is like other online corporate giving campaigns in that it lets users help American Express decide what organizations to support. But that's only the beginning. At the Members Project Web site, "people can get informed about the causes they care about, connect to other engaged users, organize their own campaigns, and volunteer to drive real change." American Express and TakePart would like you to think of it as "CSR 2.0."

As I said, the intitiative will be launched during the Oscar's with two ads -- one featuring Geoffrey Canada, president and CEO of the Harlem Children's Zone, and the other with Yvon Chouinard, founder/owner of Patagonia, the high-end designer/maker of outdoor clothing and equipment. If you're not planning to watch the Oscar's from beginning to end, you can preview the spots here.

Stay tuned over the next couple of days as we share more details.

-- Mitch Nauffts

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Posted by SuSaw  |   March 09, 2010 at 10:15 AM

Good for organizations that benefit from AmEx's purported beneficence via CSR. Meanwhile, AmEx's treatment of it's card carrying members, this one in particular and her spouse, is deplorable. Clearly for AmEx, CSR does not reflect Customer Service Responsibility. Ironically, we are in Patagonia, one of the most splendid places we have seen EVER, with no thanks to American Express travel services. Nightmare. Claro.

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